Monday, June 29, 2009

A What-Man?

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A 13 year-old kid trades in his iPod for his Dad's Walkman for a full week. He writes up all his observations on the original portable music player in a funny article I found on BBC Online. Click the picture to read the article. Ahh, the things kids say...

Jay-Z: D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)

Let the funeral procession begin...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Film Review: Estilo Hip Hop

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Film to Premiere TONIGHT, June 28th at 10PM on Global Voices Series on PBS WORLD Channel

In this powerful documentary, the cameras chronicle the lives of three Hip Hop artists from Chile (Guerrilero), Brazil (Eli Efi) and Cuba (Magia), respectively. Amazingly honest in its portrayal, the film gives an in-depth look into both the personal and artistic lives of these young, vibrant artists. Hip Hop was born to be a tool of revolution and it's inspiring to see people who continue its mission. I always find a great fascination with people outside of the United States who are Hip Hop enthusiasts. Frequently they are last of a dying breed when it comes to retaining the art form's purity. One thing in particular I learned from the film was the amount of humility these artists exhibit. Too often, people focus on the destination and not on the journey. These inspirational figures bring perspective and hope to everyone, whether you're a fan of Hip Hop or not, although after seeing this feature, I'm not sure how you CAN'T root for the underdog..

Friday, June 26, 2009

Graffiti Hall of Fame Day and Afterparty!! TODAY!!!

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Come through and watch some of the world's best graffiti artists, including the legendary James Top put it down TODAY at The Graffiti Hall of Fame (106th Street & Park Avenue)!! Feel the vibe LIVE with breakdancers, musical performances and vendors to help you commemorate the day!! It'll be on and poppin' by 3pm!!!

After the event uptown, be sure to head down to the official SoleFood Afterparty being hosted at the Die Fabrik Art Space!! Crazy ill artists will be on hand displaying pieces and on the music tip, Circa '95s (PattyDukes & Rephstar) gonna be shutting it down alongside Emilio Rojas and others...peep the flyer below for details!!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

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I hate having to post this, but sadly, Michael Jackson has passed away. Say what you will about him, but Mike was undeniably the greatest entertainer of our generation. Farewell forever to the King of Pop...there will never be another... -Interstate P

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nyle "Let The Beat Build"

All done in one take...pretty ill...

Dope concept and execution...not new, but still fresh!

Brooklyn Honors Spike Lee: Where's Mars?

Props to Jen-One for the video!!

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Judge Dismisses Case Against Rebel Diaz- Says "Keep Up the Good Work!"

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via The Indypendent

“Its a victory for hip-hop, immigrants’ rights movements, immigrant vendors, a victory for the South Bronx” - Rod Starz

The case against the South Bronx-based hip-hop artists Rodrigo and Gonzalo
Venegas was dropped June 18, exactly one year after the brothers were
aggressively arrested by NYPD when they offered to translate for a Hunts
Point street vendor who, they felt, was being harassed by police officers.

Judge Darcel Clark unexpectedly granted a motion to dismiss the brothers’
two misdemeanors charges of obstruction of justice and resisting arrest
citing their positive impact in the community. Rodrigo “RodStarz” and
Gonzalo “G1” are part of the group Rebel Diaz, along with Teresita “Lah
Tere” Ayala.

The incident occurred after Rodstarz and G1 offered to translate on behalf
of the street vendor who did not speak English. After asking for the
officer’s badge numbers, they were violently arrested. The brothers were
originally charged with assaulting a police officer, however, a friend
caught the incident on video and was able to quickly put it on Youtube.
Within hours, 150 community m embers had rallied at the local precinct and
the NYPD withdrew that charge. The two remaining misdemeanors included
obstruction of justice and resisting arrest.

Leah Horowitz is an attorney with the Bronx Defenders and represented
Rodstarz during the case. She filed the motion to dismiss in the interest
of justice on March 2, though admittedly did not have much confidence it
would be granted. The motion included letters from over thirty members of
the South Bronx community and individuals and groups Rebel Diaz had worked
with across the country and the globe.

Horowitz told the Indypendent she credits Rebel Diaz’s community support,
saying it “impressed a court system that isn’t easily impressed. And isn’t
easily affected by those sorts of things. I think what it says is that
organizing — which is what I’ve always known and believed in — is the way
to go.”

She aded, “It was obvious [the judge] thought very hard about it, and who
they are, and the ridiculous nature of the case shone through,” adding,
“She’s a good judge, she’s a tough judge, when she says something like
that, it’s a tremendous sign of respect.”

”The church I represent is one of the churches that wrote letters of
support” said Claudia De La Cruz, a resident of the South Bronx and pastor
of San Romeros De Las Americas Church in Washington20Heights. She added, “I
was there in the court [for the decision] and I feel like it was a victory
not just for Rebel Diaz, but a victory for our communities and so it was a
happy moment because …justice was actually served.“

Rodstarz emphasized the importance of the letter writing campaign: “At the
end of the day, if we hadn’t had those letters, I don’t think we would have
had our case dismissed. People really took their time out of their day to
write letters of support and it proved to work.”

The decision came as a surprise to Rebel Diaz’s lawyers, supporters and
Rebel Diaz themselves. The judge’s last words also came as somewhat of a
shock, “The last words the judge left us with was “keep up the good work,”
said G1. “I think it’s keep up the good fight, and that’s what we are
doing. We left that courtroom with more conviction in what we do.”

Claudia De La Cruz was also impressed by the judge’s final words. She said,
“I think it’s an affirmation and it’s interesting that it’s coming from a
judge. I think it has a lot to do with that it was a black judge who said
this … even though as a judge she represents the system that is
systematically abusing our people, she was able to affirm herself as she
affirmed the work that they do.”

Ever since the original incident one year ago, Rebel Diaz has emphasized
that that their case was part of a systemic problem. “The outcome of the
case, it’s really easy to come to the conclusion that the system works,”
said G1, adding “I would say it’s not so much that the system works, [but]
that the system has cracks. As a community we have to exploit those cracks
in the system. We need to find the small spaces of democracy that are left
within this police state, whether through technology, through direct action
through our communities, within our block.”

He added the community was able to rally around the case showed its
resilience and defiance to the system, “In the process of fighting the
case, we opened up a community center here in the South Bronx four blocks
away from the precinct that locked us up,” said G1.

The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective opened in March. Located on 478 Austin Place
in the South Bronx, the Collective includes “a performance space, a
multimedia studio, a computer lab art gallery, and it’s all been made
possible really by contributions from the members of the community,” he

Rebel Diaz not only organizes on a local level, but through their music and
with fundraisers and benefits to promote awareness and raise money to fight
injustice all over the world. On June 17th, the day before the decision,
they took part in a concert fundraiser for George Galloway’s 2nd Viva
Palestina Convoy trip to Gaza.

Rodstarz said, “I can’t sit here and fight against gentrification in the
South Bronx and ignore the situation in Gaza. I can’t sit here and talk
about police brutality in Brooklyn or Harlem and not talk about people
being assassinated in Oaxaca, because they are being displaced too in
Mexico. I can’t talk about Palestine and not talk about independence for
Puerto Rico. “He continued, “If we are not making those connections we are
blind. We got to start talking about things in the real landscape; the
world is under attack. There’s colonization going on worldwide and
gentrification going on worldwide.”

Rodstarz told the Indypendent that the ordeal has left the group even more
determined to make a difference in their community, “More than anything we
are going to keep up the struggle for immigrant rights, keep fighting youth
incarceration, against police profiling young black and brown men in the
South Bronx.We are going to keep calling out the powers that be.”He added,
“There is gentrification going on in the South Bronx. That is the reason
they are doing immigrant street vendor sweeps, that is the reason why they
are arresting young people… We are going to keep fighting with more
strength than ever.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rock the Bells 2009 Is Coming To N.Y.!!

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Sunday July 19th- Rock The Bells With NaS, Damian Marley, The Roots, Common, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, KRS-One, House Of Pain Feat. La Coka Nostra, Reflection Eternal, Tech N9ne, RZA, K'Naan, Raekwon, Sage Francis, MOP, Slaughterhouse, Idea and Abilities, Necro, Slum Village, Charlie 2na, Evidence and Alchemist, Psycho Realm, Buckshot, Mystik Journeymen, Mickey Factz, B Dolan, Tabi Bonney, Supernatural, Pete Rock, Murs at Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Long Island, N.Y.

Click the flyer for the MySpace/ticket link. You know you wanna go!!

ROCK THE BELLS In Association With Budweiser and Myspace Hip Hop


Enter for a chance to win a VIP flyaway trip to witness Rock the Bells in Los Angeles, California!

Register to watch updated behind the scenes footage from the tour, download exclusive tracks from RTB artists, and win dope prizes!

To win, upload a video showing how you REPRESENT ROCK THE BELLS! Have fun and be creative!

Post your widget everywhere and get people to register and vote for your video! The user with the highest rated video and greatest amount of votes wins the GRAND PRIZE FLYWAY!


For more information and to REGISTER AND UPLOAD visit

For more information, check out:

Sneaker Pimps is THIS WEEK!! Get On It!!

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Frank and The New York Kings are happy to be getting down with Sneaker Pimps once again, this time in our home base of NYC.

Friday June 26th

Sneaker Pimps NYC

Terminal 5, 610 W 56th St, New York, NY, 10019

Performing live: Big Boi (OutKast), Jadakiss, Clipse, The Cool Kids, Wale, DJ Clark Kent, Ninjasonik, Team Facelift plus more TBA!!!

All Ages. Tickets $25 presale. $30 at the door. Doors @ 8pm

Estilo Hip Hop Television Premier!!

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Film to Premiere on Global Voices Series on PBS WORLD Channel, Sunday June 28 at 10PM

Hip Hop music has the ability to give a voice to the disenfranchised in any country, and as music with a message it is a form available to all societies worldwide. Directed by New York based filmmakers, Loira Limbal and Virgilio Bravo, ESTILO HIP HOP chronicles the lives of Eli Efi, Guerrillero, and Magia, three hip hop artists from Brazil, Chile and Cuba who firmly believe that hip hop can change the world. These three inspirational leaders mobilize young people to become politically active. However as the stakes assume greater risks, the leaders are faced with challenges and have to make life-altering decisions that ultimately impact the course of their lives and of the hip hop movement. ESTILO HIP HOP will air nationally on Global Voices on PBS WORLD on Sunday, June 28 at 10 PM. For more information and to check your local listings, please visit click here.


Monday, June 22, 2009

WordSpit, LIVE @ Crash Mansion, 6/28!

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Message from Wordspit:

Well... I had fun last week @ Trash Bar. Some good people came out and supported and I must say, PreZZure and I did our thang.

Lets bring our attention to the 28th... we will be crashing this mansion ( I mean we're performing @ Crash Mansion)... which is going to be dope! We will be Unleashing the next installment of " The Coolest Bboi Stance". We have a great show lined up with a few surprise special guests!!

We work hard each and every time to put on the best show possible, so come out and share in the experience. You make me ill!!

Once again, We The Illest.

199 Bowery Ny,Ny
6 train to spring street
J,N, M stops @ Bowery and Delancy

dead prez & DJ Green Lantern at Highline Ballroom

I was out to see my folks, dead prez & DJ Green Lantern, LIVE at Highline Ballroom last night. So here's a couple of flicks from venue. J-Period and Immortal Technique warmed up the crowd for dp with Green stepping behind the 1s & 2s to deliver their new project "The Pulse of the People". It was well-received by the diverse crowd and despite the shitty weather, had a pretty packed house. Shouts to Miss Info for the tickets, btw. ;-) -Interstate P

Side note: Why was that tall-ass white dude blocking all my stage pictures? Shouldn't you be trying out for the Knicks or something? Smh...

Circa '95 Winter Freestyle

Taking off the gloves for our people out in Europe. Shout out to The Hip-Hop Chronicles UK!!

Interview with LoJ (June 7th) on Circa '95 Radio!!

1st Annual Voices Of New York Speak!!

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Come out and support!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Special Guest: 6/21- Children of the Night

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Be sure to check out Children of the Night's MySpace page.

Everyone Loves Freebies!!

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New York, N.Y. June 19 2009

Glenny Cruz and Iran Ortiz have teamed up to form 100 Yard Dash, a series of scavenger hunts hosted in NYC throughout the year. The objective of 100 Yard Dash is to promote music artists, fashion designers, film makers, DJs, etc. Young people love to receive free stuff, it is even better when the gift is an eco-friendly bag full of amazing freebies !

The “hunters” will be able to follow clues by following 100 Yard Dash at The winners will receive a gift bag containing items such as CD’s , DVD’s, clothing, accessories, magazines and etc. There will also be a newsletter included in the gift bag featuring articles related to fashion, music and art. The first series of hunts will take place during the week of July 6th. In order to participate as a “hunter” you must have a twitter account and follow 100 Yard Dash at A total of 5 hunts will take place during the first week. Updates and winners will be announced on 100 Yard Dash’s blog.

Sponsors will be able to donate items by contacting 100 Yard Dash at: for an application. All applications for the first series of hunts should be returned by June 26th. Five items from each sponsor will be collected before July 3rd. The sponsor will also have the opportunity to place advertisement on the 100 Yard Dash blog. The first three times of participating includes free advertisement. As a sponsor you will be free to choose whether you would like to advertise with us or not. This is the perfect way to get consumers excited about new product, music and etc.

For additional information on 100 Yard Dash , email us at: or visit the 100 Yard Dash blog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


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When life gives you Lemon, be grateful. Sit down and get put on to game.

Be sure to take a stroll through Lemon's Hood

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (Sat. June 20th)



Tickets are $10, make sure to get their early !!!!

12-2pm Hosted by PattyDukes & Rephstar (Circa '95)
2-4pm Hosted by Homeboy Sandman
4-8pm Hosted by Ralph McDaniels

Artists / Full lineup
Pharoahe Monch, DJ Premier, Styles P, Dead Prez, Smif N Wessun, Grand Puba, J Period, Torae and Marco Polo, Tiye Phoenix, Keys N Krates, Brown Bag All Stars, DJ Parler, DJ Misbehaviour, Metermaids, Chip Fu, Kel Spencer, Donny Goines
Nyle, Eagle Nebula, Brokn Englsh, Children Of The Night, Tanya Morgan and many more special guests!

for more info visit


Tanya Morgan - So Damn Down

Peep the new Tanya Morgan video - So Damn Down.
I'm feeling the track fellas!

Monday, June 15, 2009

We Miss You!!

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After much discussion at yesterday's Circa '95 BBQ @ Urban Latino Studios, we've come to the conclusion that our beloved "quarter waters" have seemed to disappear from refrigerator shelves throughout the 'hood. Okay, we'd never advocate them as a legitimate source of nutrition, but damn these were a staple of the neighborhood. I couldn't find a single person in the building last night that could give me a definitive "yes" when asked if these are in their local bodega. Smh..

So since your time has run short, I wanna take the time to thank all you barrel-shaped beverages for lighting up my youth and providing countless laundry-stain nightmares for my mom and for fitting perfectly into my 50¢ budget along with my Little Debbie addiction!! You will NEVER be forgotten!

Pour out a little liquor juice..

Friday, June 12, 2009

2009 Tools of War True School NYC Summer Park Jams

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Bringing true-school to a 'hood near you...get your essential Hip-Hop for the summer!!!

Royce Preps Post-SlaughterHouse Release

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Royce 5’9 ‘s unwavering passion for music and hunger for the game keeps him in the studio day and night. For further proof, look no further then the amount of music he will be releasing over the course of the next three months, which will undeniably validate Royce’s place in the pantheon of Hip-Hop’s elite lyricists.

While Royce preps the release of his highly-anticipated “Street Hop” LP, (which will be released on 9-22-09) which is executive-produced by DJ Premier and has already generated overwhelming critical accolades alone with the release of street-singles “Shake This” and “Part Of Me” and the forthcoming self-titled debut LP from the buzz worthy Bi-Coastal conglomerate Slaughterhouse (Royce 5’9, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz & Crooked I) this summer.

On the heels of both releases, Royce will first be releasing a Digital only EP entitled “The Revival.” “The Revival” will be released on 7-7-09 and it will include new tracks from Royce’s “Street Hop” LP along with a new unreleased Slaughterhouse track and will be available at all major digital retailers. Royce will also be debuting a new single and video for “The Revival” in the very immediate future. Likewise, each member of Slaughterhouse will also be releasing a new digital EP throughout the month of July and each release will contain a new Slaughterhouse track that will not be included on their debut.

With so much good music ready to be unleashed on the masses, Royce asserts “I'm looking forward to releasing new music and touring this summer. Street Hop has been in the works for almost 2 years and the release date will be here before you know it. The Revival will give people a chance to see what I've been up to and what to expect from the album. The month of July will belong to Slaughterhouse with the release of our full length group album and solo EP's from me followed by Joell, Joey and Crooked. We will show fans why we are the ones to watch.”

Slaughterhouse “Rock The Bells” Tour Dates:

Saturday June 27- Chicago, IL- First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Sunday June 28th- Detroit, MI- DTE Energy Music Theatre
Sunday July 5th- Toronto, ONT- Molson Amphitheatre
Sunday July 12th- Baltimore. MD/DC- Meriweather Post Pavilion
Saturday July 18th- Boston, MA- Comcast Center
Sunday July 19th- NY, NY- Jones Beach Amphitheatre
Saturday August 1st- Vancouver, BC- Deer Lake Park
Sunday August 2nd- Calgary, AB- Shaw Millennium Park
Thursday August 6th- Denver, CO- Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Saturday August 8th- LA, CA- Glen Helen Amphitheatre
Sunday August 9th- SF, CA- Shoreline Amphitheatre

A Message From Our Sponsor

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+Freshly Posted+

By Juleyka Lantigua

As you may know, taxpayers are about to own 60% of General Motors. So here’s our chance to get exactly what we want in our favorite mode of transportation. Personally, I am looking forward to annual meetings in which I can discuss my wish list at length with fellow stockholders.

A driver for over fifteen years, I have accumulated a list of improvements that I believe will make all our driving experiences more pleasurable. Feel free to add your own thoughts, fellow shareholder.

1. How about 100 miles per gallon. We’ve been to the Moon and sent rovers Mars, but still can’t figure this one out?
2. Standard built-in navigation systems for all models. Why should the rich be the only ones who don’t get lost anymore?
3. Volume and tuning buttons standard on all steering wheels. The number of accidents avoided will stagger you.
4. Remote control key for every car. There’s no reason a 2-cent battery in a plastic case should be turned into a luxury item.
5. Different sounds for different warnings. Door open = three bells. Key in ignition = 4 pings. Headlights still on = 2 knocks. Those are just suggestions, but you get the point.
6. Power-controlled seats on the driver and passenger seats; sometimes the driver is the passenger, and that’s an unpleasant surprise.
7. Value retention, for real.
8. Built-in technology that melds our techie lifestyles (iPods, cell phones, etc.)
9. Roadside assistance service modeled after On-Star, connecting the car directly to the manufacturer and sharing performance data automatically, to keep you safe and the car running smoothly.
10. Lastly: car designed so sleekly they make you want to get in and go fast.


Juleyka Lantigua is a writer whose work has appeared in books, magazines and newspapers around the world.

Cargo - JULY 2009


July 20th & 21st of 2009 12 to 8 pm
St. Patrick's at 268 Mulberry St. New York City
( between Prince & Houston )
BDFV trains to Broadway - Lafayette

Hard to get goods / Emerging designers / Sponsor products / Complimentary beverages


Thursday, June 11, 2009

2009 Puerto Rican Day Festival!!

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Our very own Rephstar and PattyDukes will be LIVE at the Urban Latino Radio booth on 116th Street from 12-2pm, THIS Saturday for the 2009 Puerto Rican Day Festival!! Swing through, say hello and snag some free giveaways!!

Largest Latin Festival in New York- Over 28 blocks from Third Ave. from East 106th to East 123rd and along 116th from Lexington Ave. to First Ave. Three main stages, over 200 exhibits and vendors with diverse attractions.

Sources: and

New Ear Candy from 2 Hungry Bros.!!

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Go to:

From Deep of 2 Hungry Bros...

Here are two mixes to wrap around your audio canal! My first is a balloon trip around the world. Musica Everywhere!! It's loaded with dope samples that've been used- but who cares, if you can freak it, do it! Have fun, be merry!! The sun is out and Summer is here...AOK COLLECTIVE always got something for your ears!

MUSICA EVERYWHERE! Download by clicking HERE

You can preview it HERE before you download it...

The next one is basically all old-school Salsa and Salsa variations but all funky! Really exploring the African Roots of my corner of the Latino world...

POR QUE SOY EL PROFUNDO Download by clicking HERE

You can preview it HERE before you download it...

Please enjoy, share, download, blog, however the music makes you feel or whatever it tells you...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Special Guest: 6/14- Tony Peralta

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Artist/Designer, Tony Peralta is checking in with us this week. See some of Tony's work on his site, The Peralta Project

Special Guest: 6/14- ANatural

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Breeze through ANatural's MySpace page to get familiar...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Come Celebrate!!

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Our very own PattyDukes & Rephstar will be on hand to perform and be honored at EL COQUI AWARDS PARTY!!

Live Performances by:

Alma Moyo
Rebel Diaz
Bonafide Rojas
Breaks Kru
Welfare Poets
PattyDukes and Rephstar
Spirit Child
Flaco Navaja
J Cisco and Sound Cartagena
and More!

Hosted by Jesus G, with The Young Rascal, DJ 360 Spinning the Hottest in Latin, Hip Hop, and Reggae...

June 10th

Galapagos Arts Space
16 Main Street
(at the corner of Water Street in DUMBO)
Brooklyn NY 11201

By bus: B61
By train: A.C.2.3.F.

El Coqui Awards acknowledges Puerto Ricans who have committed their lives to advance communities of color.
A coqui is Puerto Rico's national frog. You can hear them anywhere on the island. Coquis sing the same song at the same time in different parts of the island. This award is given to those who carry Puerto Rico in their heart no matter where they are and continue to sing the same call in different places around the world to inspire and empower the community.

Purchase your tickets TODAY!

Suggested donation of $20 in advance, or $25 at the door, but
NO ONE will be turned away...

ALL of the proceeds will go to the Youth Power Project @
Make the Road New York!

LoJ- Boom Bap

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We had the pleasure of hosting LoJ and his Theme Music collaborator, K. Krash on Circa '95 Radio this past Sunday. Flipping famous TV and movie theme songs, LoJ and some of his mic cohorts go in to create this concept mixtape. Here's a fresh joint off the upcoming Vitamin Water-sponsored project, Theme Music: Volume 1...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fly Girlz from Brooklyn

I love supporting positive work that young people are doing.
Check out the FLY GIRLZ from BROWNSVILLE.....
Shout out to Representin NYC for working with students in Brooklyn and helping them make an album called Da Brats from the Ville, you can buy the entire album on itunes for $7.92. My favorite track is Born 2 B Fly. Support the Youth !!!

on another note...wassup can pattydukes get on a track ladies? lol....
ya killin it !!! Don't let nobody stop you... LADIES FIRST !

Thursday, June 4, 2009


This Friday, BROOKLYN is going to go NUTS!
Special guests and performances...
Don't miss out one of the biggest celebrations of the year!

The powerHouse Arena invites you to celebrate the launch of

It's Just Begun: The Epic Journey of DJ Disco Wiz,
Hip Hop's First Latino DJ
By Ivan Sanchez and Luis "DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño
Music by Grandmaster Caz, Master of Ceremonies for the Evening. Featuring performances by Prince Whipper Whip, Poison Pen, DJ GI Joe, Bocafloja, Hst, Circa '95, Alvare, Eye-N-See, Hasan Salaam, and Rebel Diaz. Readings by Nile Rodgers, Charlie Ahearn, and Jamel Shabazz.

Entrance is $20 at the door and includes a copy of the book
or click here to purchase online and pickup your book at the event!
Books may be pre-ordered when you RSVP.

Friday, June 5, 2009 from 5:00-9:00pm
The powerHouse Arena,
37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

"There are no punches pulled, no shorts taken, no inconvenient truths omitted here. The story of DJ Disco Wiz is a searing, powerful, heartbreakingly real hip-hop story. A must-read."
—Jeff Chang, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

"If there are words to describe DJ Disco Wiz they would be 'true survivor,' born in a time when war and injustice was the state of America. This book is a must-read for all fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and educators alike, so that one may understand the pain that so many young people born in harsh conditions have to endure."
—Jamel Shabazz

"It's Just Begun has opened my mind up to so much more about hip-hop history than I could've imagined, and is a sure-fire tool to help younger generations understand the volatile 70s decade in all its mess and glory. DJ Disco Wiz represents for all Latinos who have ever grabbed a set of headphones since. Estoy tan orgulloso de él."
—DJ Bobbito Garcia

Author Bios

Luis "DJ Disco Wiz" Cedeño, the first Latino hip hop DJ, is credited for being the first DJ to make a "mixed plate" in 1977 along with Grandmaster Caz. In the years since, Wiz has been an influential force in educating the world about the early years of hip-hop. Wiz was a major contributor in the opening of the Experience Music Project in Seattle in 2000, and was instrumental in the making of Jim Fricke and Charlie Ahearn's Yes Yes Y'all (Da Capo Press, 2002). He was also featured in the Emmy-nominated VH1 Rock Doc NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell, and is the creator and founder of the Hip-Hop Meets Spoken Wordz series.

Ivan Sanchez is the author of Next Stop: Growing up Wild Style in the Bronx (Simon & Schuster, 2008), and was awarded the National Novel honors for his first fiction offering in 2004. His work has appeared on,, and, and he is currently developing a TV series based on Next Stop, with the help of April Lee Hernandez. Sanchez is also an anti-gang youth advocate and motivational speaker, who works with the Virginia Beach Police Department's gang unit.

Performer Bios

Born Curtis Brown in the Boogie Down Bronx, New York City, in 1960, Grandmaster Caz is a former b-boy and graf writer who graduated to the ranks of the DJ elite in 1974 under the name Casanova Fly with partner, Disco Wiz after witnessing a Kool Herc indoor jam. After Wiz's departure, Caz formed the Mighty Force featuring Whipper Whip & DotaRock, the original Salt & Pepper MCs. Casanova shortened his name to Caz and adopted the title Grandmaster after a lightening fast turntable exhibition at a Bronx hip hop spot. After Whip & Dot's departure, Caz regrouped to form the Mighty Force Five, then soon began to perform as the Notorious Two with original Mighty Force member JDL. Then joined the Cold Crush Brothers in 1979, after Caz penned Big Bank Hank's lyrics for "Rappers Delight" (inadvertently making Caz Hip Hop's first ghostwriter). Caz's innovative rhyme style and routine writing propelled the Brothers to legendary hip hop status as one of the most dynamic and imitated groups in hip hop history. The Cold Crush recorded three singles on the Tuff City label, including the hit, "Fresh, Wild, Fly & Bold." Caz enjoyed a solo career, recording the album "The Grandest of Them All" and in 1986 won The New Music Seminar's MC Battle for World Supremacy. Caz's love and passion for hip hop continued throughout the 90s, first as DJ and host at LA's hottest club, United Nations, and as council member of West Coast Zulu Nations BX contingency. While in LA, Caz did a remake of his famous "Yvette" rhyme for Malcolm McLaren's New World Famous Supreme Team album and toured with Ice-T and his Rhyme Syndicate. Caz also performed at the Rapmania Pay per View special in 1991. He appeared and performed in the first hip hop movie, Wild Style, as well as in documentaries Rhyme & Reason, The Freshest Kids, Beef I & II, MTV's Back in the Day, VH1's Hip Hop Babylon, as well as VH1's five part History of Rap documentary. Caz has been voted 11th of the 50 Greatest MCs of all time in Blaze magazine, 10th on Ego Trip's list of the Greatest MCs of all Time, and 6th of the True 50 Greatest MCs of All Time by fellow rap pioneer Kool Moe Dee in his book, There's a God on the Mic. Caz has been elected to the DMC DJ Hall of Fame; inducted into the Zulu Nation Hall of Fame along with the Cold Crush, and has also received proclamations from the Brooklyn Council Woman's office, the Bronx Borough President, and the City of New York. Director of Entertainment Relations and Co-Founder of the first authentic Hip-Hop clothing brand Sedgwick & Cedar, Caz was recently featured on Ice T's Rap School and VH1's White Rapper Show. The legend continues.....

Prince Whipper Whip, a Puerto Rican emcee from the Bronx, is a true Hip Hop pioneer. He began his career performing live with his partner Dot-A-Rock, and soon both helped to form the Cold Crush Brothers. The pair left the Cold Crush to work with the inventor of the scratch, Grand Wizzard Theodore, forming the group, Grand Wizzard Theodore and the Fantastic Five Emcees. Whipper Whip was featured in the seminal Hip Hop film, Wild Style, and has collaborated with artists from both the early days of Hip Hop and the new school, including Grandmaster Caz, Kool DJ Herc, Ice-T, Afrika Islam, the Beatnuts, Z-Trip, and DJ Honda. Also know as Papi Chulo, Bronx Puerto Rican, and Ese Loco El Vos, Whipper Whip has continued to make music, and has performed at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem and the Palace in Hollywood, in addition to touring extensively worldwide.

Poison Pen is a battle emcee turned street prophet. The Brooklynite started rapping in 1996 at the first online Hip Hop radio station,, before tearing through the NYC battle circuit. After participating in the Blaze Battle, Pen decided to retire from the circuit in 1999. He soon founded his own competition, Da Cypha Emcee Battles. He has recorded a number of his own singles and performed on tracks with the likes of MF Doom, Immortal Technique, and the Beatminerz. In addition to his music career, he has lent his voice to the top-selling video games, The Warriors and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and has appeared on TV and in film in Dave Chapelle's Block Party, VH 1 Hip Hop Honors, and MTV's The Shop, and Direct Effect. Poison Pen tours internationally, and has hit both the U.S. and Europe with the gutter mentality and linguistics that fans have grown to love.

Born in Manhattan, DJ GI Joe grew up in Alphabet City at Albizu Campos Plaza on 12th St. and Avenue C. When he was about 15 years old, his mother bought him his first set of turntables, some speakers, and some cassette players. Joe linked up with Full Circle, a breaking crew created by Quick Step and Rockafella. Joe began doing shows with them as a bboy and gained popularity more so for his bboying than his DJ'ing. Joe soon found himself opening shows for such notable names as Kanye West, John Legend, and more. Joe became tour DJ for Immortal Technique, as well DJing for Chino XL, Swave Sevah, Poison Pen, Diabolic, Akir, Da Circle, J Arch, as well as tours featuring the QN5 collective and Redman. He has performed in various countries across the world including Morocco, Colombia, England, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and more.

Hailing from Mexico city, Bocafloja strives in search of alternative forms of classic hip hop structure in the form of MC.. With four solo albums, the production of two compilation albums, one published book and presence on stages that extend all over Latin America and the United States: from SOB'S in New York to the cultural center bank of brazil in Rio de Janeiro, from Venezuela to Cuba, from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic, from east L.A to Paris-as well as innumerable appearances throughout México. Bocafloja was presented with the DJ & Clubbing Awards' Hip Hop Artist of the Year Award 2006 in Mexico, and "el manual de la otredad" as the best hip hop album of the year by Budweiser's Indie-O Awards in 2008. Bocafloja has shared the stage with such artists as Dead Prez, Afu-Ra, Ozomatli, Brasil's finest Mv bill, J-live, Freestyle Fellowship, Immortal Technique, K'naan, Rascalz, Intifada, Actitud Maria Marta, and SieteNueve, among others. Founder of QUILOMBOARTE, an organization that seeks to produce cultural events in which HIP HOP functions as an educational tool and an essential collaborative adhesive to social and political leftist movements in the processes of transformation throughout Mexico and Latin America.

Hst (Hache st). was born and raised in the city of Santiago de Los Caballeros, located in the northern region of the Dominican Republic, also called El Cibao. He reflects the unknown side of Dominican Hip Hop. A well delivered mix of intelligent rhymes, profound criticism of the governmental systems and a bit of Philosophy make him a one of a kind emcee. He has collaborated with Andino (Ecuador), Souchi (Espana), and Loud and Flava (Dom Rep), and recorded the album Filosofia Caribeña, a classic in the underground Hip Hop. He started a group called Espadasofia, Hache st, Sheng, Ruben and Willproducer, which became one of the most respected groups in Latin America. Their song "Nada es Como Antes" (2004) ranked number 1 on but due to difficulties, they were not able to finish their album. In 2006, Hst and Willproducer released the album "Botando el Golpe". Hst has been working with many of the greatest representatives of the Latin Hip hop scene such as Bocafloja (Mexico), Yallzee (Puerto Rico), Arianna Puello (Spain, Dom Rep), and Cookee (Puerto Rico). Hst has represented his country on many events such as the 4th International Alliance of Hip Hop in Caracas, Venezuela in 2008, one of the most important events of Latin American Hip Hop. At the present, Hst is currently living in New York City. He and Willproducer are recording their album called "Efecto Cibaeño" with huge expectations to be released this summer. You can read more about Hst in his Myspace,

Circa '95 is much more than your average Latino Hip-Hop group. This trendsetting duo, has taken over NYC with various projects. PattyDukes (Dominican) and RephStar (Puerto Rican) are performers, emcees, writers and tech savy-multimedia artists. Performing throughout the country, working with youth based organizations that promote Hip-Hop as a tool for social change. Hosts of the #1 Internet radio show on UrbanLatinoRadio.Com, Circa '95 is live every Sunday from 2-5pm. Patty and Reph were recently featured on HBO Latino in shows like RoadTrip and Habla. On stage, PattyDukes and Rephstar will be acting in Caridad "La Bruja" De La Luz's Boogie Rican Blvd this Summer at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. PattyDukes and Rephstar are the recipients of the 2007 BRIO Award and the 2008 UAI (Urban Artist Initiative) grant. They are the 2007 national Cuervoton winners, walking away with a demo deal from Roc La Familia. PattyDukes and Rephstar are currently in the studio working on their first

Positive energy, perseverance, and determination: these are only a few of the outstanding monikers with which peers have baptized vibrant Latino artist, Alvare. Alvare's rich Cuban heritage strongly influenced Alvare to take his story and relay it to the masses via classic Afro-Cuban sounds such as Fania, Buena Vista Social Club, Beny More and Celia Cruz while fusing them with his unique, rhythmic and melodic Hip Hop flow, forming an inimitable sound so addictive that audiences from all ages become instant fans. As a culturally eclectic artist, Alvare embraces Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, and Mexican influences such as bomba y plena, merengue, bachata, bayonato, and banda all of which likewise play a pivotal role in the one-of-a kind Alvare sound. Highly accredited performers such as La Bruja, T-Weaponz, Hurricane G, Rebel Diaz, Eternia, Patty Dukes, Daso El Musico, Temperamento, and Thirstin Howl III are among the diverse artists who have collaborated with Alvare to relay his positive tale to the streets.

Raw, dynamic, and determined are just a few words to describe Eye-N-See. Eye-N-See came together in Corona, Queens, as young men who bonded through music and hardship. Eye Rule and C-True met in 1993, and through their passion for Rap music they became the group known as Eye-N-See. Eye Rule also known as Logik, knows better than anyone that life is not a walk in the park. Having dealt with a drug problem for over a decade, Eye Rule used music to defeat his addiction to cocaine. At the lowest point in his life, Eye Rule wrote a song called "Time" that described who he wanted to be, and now he can honestly say he is a lot closer to becoming that person. Through his raw and dynamic lyrics he shares his life, triumphs and failures, and has become a rapper that mirrors the art of life and struggle through hip hop. C-True is considered to be a rappers rapper. C-True is not only a skilled writer but also is known to carry out a unique style of Hip Hop. Growing up he used his music to escape his situation with domestic violence. Through all that noise C-True found himself as a writer and he wrote a song called "Words" which he considers to this day highlights some of his best work. "Words" is a song that showcases his talent, vision and what he is destined for. Currently Eye-N-See is signed to Square Deal Productions, a production company that was built by childhood friends, dedicated to producing quality music and developing tomorrow's Hip Hop. Sergio Parra, CEO of Square Deal Productions, is excited to release a young talented group who he believes is a breath of fresh air to the game.

Hasan Salaam is a Hip Hop artist from New Jersey. Salaam received acclaim for his debut album Paradise Lost, which covers an array of personal, political, and historical subjects, and it earned him two awards at the 3rd Underground Music Awards in August of 2005. Shortly after the release of Paradise Lost he released a mixtape entitled Tales of the Lost Tribe: Hidden Jewels. Salaam has been blessed with many opportunities to perform his music at venues across the country and beyond, and was a part of Redman's Red Gone Wild Tour in 2007. Aside from his work as an emcee, Salaam has taught classes at P.S. 41 in Jersey City, New Jersey, and has performed and worked with rights organizers at Eastern New York Correctional Facility, in Napanoch. Hasan Salaam will be traveling to London and Germany to perform in 2009.

Rebel Diaz is a Hip Hop group from Chicago, based in the South Bronx, making music for freedom fighters and revolutionaries. Fronted by the Afro-Boricua songstress/mc Lah Tere and Chilean brothers RodStarz and G1, Rebel Diaz reports from the trenches on life, love, the streets, and the struggle. From welcoming Hugo Chavez to the Bronx, to opening for Rage Against The Machine at a political rally for migrant farm workers, they represent the pulse of the active left. They have also shared the stage with the likes of Common, Public Enemy, dead prez, and Mos Def. Recently chosen by URB magazine as one of "The Next 100 groups of 2008," Rebel Diaz looks to take their bilingual flow and global view on Hip Hop into the 21st century and beyond.

T-Weaponz is an explosive lyrical trifecta hailing from the streets of Brooklyn's East New York, composed of brothers IzReal and Arkitek and their neighborhood friend Psalmz. After meeting at an impromptu neighborhood 'CIPHER' (term used to describe a circle of emcees rhyming together) and later discovering how many similarities they shared both in terms of their life experiences and their ideals they soon came together under the moniker Tomorrow's Weaponz, which they later shortened to T-Weaponz, representative of how the trio lives for today and hopes for a tomorrow using their own weapons-thoughts and wits.

There is nothing you can say about Nile Rodgers that hasn't already been heard by billions of people, via millions of radio airwaves, in thousands of cities, in hundreds of countries. The career of Nile Rodgers is one of the most enduring and prolific in music. Nile's signature is scrawled across an amazing array of music—from Madonna to Diana Ross, from David Bowie to Eric Clapton. Nile partnered with Bernard Edwards and introduced the world to CHIC in 1977. "Dance, Dance, Dance", the first single off CHIC's eponymous début, hit the Top 10 and they never looked back. 1978 yielded their second hit, "Everybody Dance", while a third single, "Le Freak", hit No. 1 and became Warner Brothers' biggest selling single of all time. The dynamic duo of Edwards and Rodgers finished off the year by releasing their second album, C'est Chic, which went directly into the Top 5. The year 1979 brought the singles "I Want Your Love", "Good Times", and a third CHIC album, Risqué. While they still kept their day job as the front men of CHIC, Nile and Bernard were not content to simply propel their own band to the top. They produced and composed the album We Are Family by Sister Sledge and did the same on Diana, the best selling album by Diana Ross, featuring her smash singles, "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out". And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then surely the Sugarhill Gang's appropriation of the bass line from "Good Times" as the bass line for 1980s seminal rap song "Rapper's Delight" is an outstanding tribute. Nile has written, produced, or performed on songs, which have sold over a hundred million records. In fall of 2005, CHIC were inducted as artists into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, as was their classic dance song "Good Times". Nile and Bernard were also singled out and inducted for their groundbreaking work as producers. The National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), of which Nile has served as both Governor and Trustee, has given him both its Lifetime Achievement Award, and the New York Chapter's Heroes Award, the highest honor bestowed, honoring individuals whose creative talents and accomplishments cross all musical boundaries.

In the summer of 1980, Charlie Ahearn began working with Fred Brathwaite and Lee Quinones on the hip hop classic Wild Style, which he wrote and directed and was first screened in 1982. After producing a number of videos on artists, Ahearn wrote and directed his next feature film, Fear of Fiction, in 2000. With Jim Fricke, Ahearn coauthored Yes Yes Y'all: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade (Da Capo Press, 2002), which featured more than one hundred photographs, many by Ahearn. The author of Wild Style The Sampler (Miss Rosen Editions/powerHouse Books, 2007), Ahearn lives and works in New York.

Jamel Shabazz's work has appeared in publications such as The Source, Vibe, Trace, British Elle, Jalouse, Dune, GQ, and French Vogue. In addition, his photographs have been exhibited in Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes, and Rage at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, at Xhibiton Transition in Chicago, and at Trace Magazine: True Signs in Paris. Shabazz is a Teaching Artist with Rush Arts Foundation, where he mentors at-risk youth. He is a philanthropist who supports organizations like The Harlem Art Project, The Queens Council on the Arts, and Project Hope. He has published three books with powerHouse: Back in the Days, A Time Before Crack, Seconds of My Life, and Last Sunday in June (2001, 2005, 2007, and 2003). Shabazz was born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in 1960.